Along with so many other changes in the industry this year, the 55th annual ENR Award of Excellence celebration, which honors construction industry achievement, will be a series of virtual events taking place the week of Aug. 3.

The multifaceted, multimedia awards program will remain a combination of sight and sound as it moves to the internet. There will be presentations. There will be rousing music and images of some of the top accomplishments and top people in our industry. As always, there will be passion and rhetoric. We will miss the charms of seeing one another and talking in person, but we will mingle in new ways online and have opportunities to learn from one another.

ENR’s Award of Excellence event evolved over the decades from a single banquet to a multiday, multipurpose program. First we added a separate luncheon for the Top 25 Newsmakers so there would be time to hear from each of the winners as they accepted their awards. Next, in addition to recognizing individual excellence, we decided to honor the project teams who win ENR’s Best of the Best Projects awards.

We added well-crafted video productions, heartwarming acceptance speeches and built a feeling of unity and purpose that is often lost in the hurly-burly of everyday business. The virtual celebration is another step in the transformation.

To take advantage of the benefits of the virtual platform, we will tap the insights of our newsmakers and allow the audience to meet them, too. The Top 25 Newsmakers have all been invited to join webinars where they can share expertise on issues that have broad industry significance. They will be joined by a number of past Award of Excellence winners.

For example, Editor-at-Large Debra K. Rubin has gathered a group of newsmakers to tackle the unprecedented workplace challenges facing us in the era of COVID-19. Editor-at-Large Nadine M. Post is drawing honorees together to talk about finding a path through the maze of building innovation. Deputy Editor Pam Radtke Russell has arranged for winners to update us on sustainability present and future. Another panel will dwell of the elements of safe and successful projects, while another will examine failures of many different kinds—and how to fix them.

It all happens Aug. 3-7. We won’t have the standing ovations and warm-hearted laughs of our in-person event, but you don’t need a plane ticket or hotel room—and there are ticket prices for every budget. All you need is a curiosity about excellence and the desire to learn about creating award-winning work—Best of the Best projects will be presented Aug. 5. For details visit And if you hear something that makes you want to raise a glass or stand and cheer, there’s nothing stopping you from doing so right where you are, or even letting us know. We hope to “see” you there.

Janice L. Tuchman Editor in Chief